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Encyclopedia > Wintersmith
Terry Pratchett
The Discworld series

35th novel – 3rd Tiffany Aching story
Characters: Tiffany Aching,
Nac Mac Feegle,
Granny Weatherwax
Locations: The Chalk
Publication details
Year of release: 2006
Original publisher: Doubleday
Hardback ISBN: ISBN 0-385-60984-1
Paperback ISBN:
Other details

Wintersmith is the title of the third Tiffany Aching novel in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, published on the 21 September 2006. It is 324 pages long in hardback. Terence David John Pratchett OBE (born April 28, 1948, in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England[1]) is an English fantasy author, best known for his Discworld series. ... // This article is about the novels. ... A novel (from French nouvelle Italian novella, new) is an extended, generally fictional narrative, typically in prose. ... Image File history File links Wintersmith. ... See also: Discworld magic A major subset of the Discworld novels of Terry Pratchett involves the witches of Lancre. ... Nac Mac Feegles on the cover of The Wee Free Men The Nac Mac Feegle (also known as Pictsies, the Wee Free Men, the Little Men, or Person or Persons Unknown, Believed to be Armed) are a fictional type of fairy appearing in Terry Pratchetts Discworld novels Carpe Jugulum... Esmerelda Esme Weatherwax (usually called Granny Weatherwax) is a character from Terry Pratchetts Discworld series. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... Doubleday is one of the largest book publishing companies in the world. ... A major subset of the Discworld novels of Terry Pratchett involve the witches of Lancre. ... Terence David John Pratchett OBE (born April 28, 1948, in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England[1]) is an English fantasy author, best known for his Discworld series. ... // This article is about the novels. ... September 21 is the 264th day of the year (265th in leap years). ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...



Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Two years after the events of A Hat Full of Sky, Tiffany Aching, now 13 years old, is training with the witch Miss Treason. But when she takes Tiffany to witness the secret Dark Morris - the Morris dance (performed wearing black clothes and octiron bells) that welcomes in the winter, Tiffany finds herself drawn into the dance and joins in. She finds herself face to face with the Wintersmith - the winter himself - who mistakes her for the Lady Summer and falls in love with her. A Hat Full of Sky is a novel written by Terry Pratchett set on the Discworld, written with younger readers in mind. ... Cotswold morris with handkerchiefs A morris dance is a form of English folk dance. ... A fictional chemical substance is a chemical element, isotope, compound or mineral that exists only in works of fiction (usually fantasy or science fiction). ...

Unknowingly, Tiffany drops her silver horse pendant (a gift from Roland, the Baron's son) during the Dance. The Wintersmith uses the pendant to find Tiffany and give her back the pendant during their second encounter. From there on, he uses the pendant to find her and deliver his gifts (delicate ice roses, her name written in frost on every window, Tiffany-shaped snowflakes, and in distant seas icebergs in her shape). The elder witches, including Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, try to hide her, realize how the Wintersmith has been tracking her, and demand that she throw her silver horse pendant into Lancre Gorge. Esmerelda Esme Weatherwax (usually called Granny Weatherwax) is a character from Terry Pratchetts Discworld series. ... Gytha Ogg (usually called Nanny Ogg) is a character from Terry Pratchetts Discworld series. ...

Things get trickier for Tiffany when she discovers she has some of the Lady Summer's powers - plants start to grow where she walks barefooted, and the Cornucopia (Horn of Plenty) appears, causing problems by spurting out food and animals. Cornucopia held by the Roman goddess Aequitas on the reverse of this antoninianus struck under Roman Emperor Claudius II. The cornucopia (Latin Cornu Copiae), literally Horn of Plenty and also known as the Harvest Cone, is a symbol of food and abundance dating back to the 5th century BC. In...

Before the problem with Tiffany and the Wintersmith is resolved, Miss Treason dies (she was 111, but claimed to be 113 because she felt that it sounded better). Annagramma acquires the cottage (needing help for the first few days from Tiffany and the other young witches) and Tiffany goes to live with Nanny Ogg.

The Wintersmith realizes that Tiffany will not be his because he is not human. Learning a simple rhyme from children, he teaches himself the basic elements that makes up the human body. He makes himself a body out of these elements and pursues her, not truly understanding still what it is to be human.

Granny Weatherwax urges the Nac Mac Feegles, who watch Tiffany closely to protect their "big wee hag," to find a Hero. They find Roland, who must bring the real Summer Lady from the Underworld. After a few days of helping Roland sword-train with a moving target (themselves inside a suit of armour), they attempt to take Roland to the Underworld. They succeed after a certain degree of bickering with the ferryman. Nac Mac Feegles on the cover of The Wee Free Men The Nac Mac Feegle (also known as Pictsies, the Wee Free Men, the Little Men, or Person or Persons Unknown, Believed to be Armed) are a fictional type of fairy appearing in Terry Pratchetts Discworld novels Carpe Jugulum...

Meanwhile, the Wintersmith has covered the land with Tiffany-snowflakes. Snowflakes were the only gifts Tiffany didn't refuse to receive from him. The harsh prolonged winter starts blocking houses and roads and killing off the sheep of the Chalk. Hiding inside her father's house, Tiffany finds her pendant inside a fish her brother, Wentworth, caught. She put the pendant back on when the service of a witch is needed by her father and the people of the Chalk. The snow is getting worse and Wentworth goes missing again. Using a skill she learned from Granny Weatherwax, Tiffany melts some of the snow to save a few sheep and find her brother. The Wintersmith finds Tiffany and takes her to his ice palace, where she ultimately manages to stop him with the same skill she used to find her brother, melting him with a kiss with the heat of the sun behind it, and fulfilling the Dance of Seasons, where Summer and Winter die and are reborn in turn.

The characters

Tiffany Aching: One of the young witches but also one of the most reliable, hardworking and talented. She is now 13 and is now quite interested, though she would never admit it, in Roland de Chumsfanleigh, the baron's son whom she rescued some years past from the faeries. Her grandmother was a powerful witch and the only one of the Chalk. She has a particular talent for making cheese - she manages to make a Lancre cheese called Horace that has its own personality and steals food. She has even managed to earn the respect of Granny Weatherwax, which is no small feat.

The Nac Mac Feegle: Also known as the Wee Free Men. Blue, 6-inch tall men who consider themselves the protector of their "wee big hag", Tiffany. They love fighting (anything, including each other), stealing and drinking. Feegles appearing from the earlier books include: Rob Anybody (Big Man of the clan), Jeannie (the kelda), Rob's brothers Daft Wullie (a not too smart feegle), Hamish (an aeronaut, bird-trainer) and Big Yan (a large Feegle) and Jeannie's brother Awf'ly Wee Billy Bigchin (the gonnagle). A new Feegle named Wee Dangerous Spike is introduced.

Wintersmith: The spirit of Winter who falls in love with Tiffany. In order to win her affections he makes snowflakes in Tiffany's shape, roses of ice, writes her name in frost and even makes massive icebergs in Tiffany's image. He is generally a bit confused about Tiffany as well as being in love with her - he hasn't the foggiest about humans. Until now he has paid them no mind and finds it difficult to understand anything about them. Tiffany is the name of the following: Tiffany, Wisconsin is a town in Dunn County, Wisconsin, United States Tiffany, Pennsylvania is a borough in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, United States Tiffany (singer) is the stage name of Tiffany Darwish, an American pop singer known for hit songs in 1987-1989 like...

Roland: The Baron's son is revealed to be much more mature in this novel, as opposed to The Wee Free Men where he is portrayed as being stupid and pigheaded. He also plays a larger role in this novel eventually journeying to the Underworld in the company of the Nac Mac Feegle. It is now revealed that his surname is de Chumsfanleigh, pronounced 'Chuffley' (it's not his fault). His father is now extremely ill and his two aunts, well aware of the powers they will have until Roland comes of age should the Baron die, are 'hovering like crows near the almost dead' as the Feegles put it. They and Roland, unsurprisingly, do not get on in the slightest. The Wee Free Men is the 30th novel in Terry Pratchetts Discworld series, and the second Discworld book for younger readers. ...

Granny Weatherwax: Her role in Wintersmith is fairly major. Near the beginning Tiffany 'tests' her, as Granny does so often to Tiffany, by telling her how her competition (Lettice Earwig) has six big black cats and then gives Granny a little white kitten. Granny pretends not to want it, but ends up taking it everywhere with her (it even fights off Greebo) giving it the unceremonious name of 'You' (as in 'hey, You, stop that'). Granny is the unspoken head of the Ramtop witches. She knows it, and so do all of the witches, but it's never mentioned. The Nac Mac Feegles, however, refer to Granny as the "hag o' hags"--the witch of all witches. She sneakily gives Tiffany some of her most important witching lessons.

Nanny Ogg: The longtime friend of Granny Weatherwax appears much more in this novel than in the previous two. After Miss Treason dies Tiffany goes to train and live with Nanny in her well-kept cottage called Tir Nani Ogg, (a play on Tír na nÓg). There are a few embarrassing moments since Nanny Ogg has such a dirty mind, especially when the Wintersmith asks Tiffany to marry him and she asks how to get rid of his attention. Famous in previous Discworld novels for keeping a large stable of love interests in her youth, Nanny Ogg helps Tiffany to understand what power a young woman has over men who fancy her. Tír na nÓg, called in English the Land of Eternal Youth or the Land of the Ever-Young, was the most popular of the Otherworlds in Irish mythology, perhaps best known from the myth of Oisín and Niamh of the Golden Hair. ...

Miss Treason: Tiffany's teacher for the first half of the story, who dies of old age but gets to enjoy her own funeral the day before. She is blind and deaf and walks with sticks, although she can see and hear via Borrowing mice and other creatures. The local residents regard her with considerable awe and no small amount of fear, heightened drastically by a number of purchases covertly made from Boffo's, a novelty joke shop in Ankh-Morpork, such as fake (but very realistic looking) skulls, an automatic spider-web creator and various other accoutrements of the stereotypical witch. Many stories about her are whispered by the locals, which heighten the general sense of fear and awe; Miss Treason freely admits to Tiffany that she made most of them up herself for that very reason. A very intelligent woman, used to getting her own way but rather creepy - Tiffany stayed with her for 3 months and was her longest trainee. Most left after one night, finding the Borrowing too eerie, as well as the cottage where everything - the clothes, walls, floors, even some food (tea and beans) - are black. Ankh-Morpork is a fictional city-state which prominently features in Terry Pratchetts Discworld series of fantasy novels. ...

Miss Tick: Miss Tick, the witch who discovered Tiffany's potential for witchcraft in The Wee Free Men, appears throughout Wintersmith, including helping Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg plan for what to do about the Wintersmith and Tiffany, though her guesses usually turn out to be wrong. Since the reader last saw her, she has been carefully seeding a path to make life safer for witches who live in less witch-friendly parts of the world by writing books full of false information on the "correct" methods of witch-hunting (for example, a captured witch must be awoken politely at a decent hour and first offered a nice cup of tea and a biscuit before she may be safely taken to the place of execution, as the nice cup of tea "destroys her powers"). Miss Tick is an escape artist whose speciality is untying ropes while underwater, a skill she teaches her apprentices. Her name, as explained in The Wee Free Men, is a play on "mystic".

Annagramma: She is initially the same as portrayed in the previous books, arrogant, pretentious and not nearly as clever as she believes herself to be, although she does become nicer towards Tiffany later on. She takes over Miss Treason's cottage, but needs much help from the other junior witches in filling the venerable witch's shoes. She risks her life to fight the WIntersmith and help Tiffany: she becomes a proper witch.

Horace: A Lancre Blue cheese made by Tiffany with a mind and life of his own. Eats mice, milk and butter when he can get it. Is adopted by Daft Wullie after tracking and attacking Big Yan by dropping out of a tree on his head.


When the Nac Mac Feegle enter the underworld, the ferryman recognizes them, implying that they actually are dead and that the Discworld is the place for their afterlife, just as they believe. Of course, the Nac Mac Feegle can enter any world, even ones that exist only in imagination or as dreams, so it's possible they had visited the Underworld before.

A book mentioned in Wintersmith is a tome on mythology by Chaffinch. This is a clear play on the writer Thomas Bulfinch, author of Bulfinch's Mythology. Thomas Bulfinch (July 15, 1796 - May 27, 1867) was an American writer, born in Newton, Massachusetts to a highly-educated but not rich Bostonian merchant family. ...


  • http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0385609841/
  • http://www.lspace.org/books/apf/wintersmith.html
  • http://www.harpercollins.com/books/9780060890315/Wintersmith/index.aspx

  Results from FactBites:
Our Staff (945 words)
Wintersmith brought out an ice cold "Coca Cola", (one of those six-ounce glass bottles that all of us around the age of 30 or more remember).
Wintersmith and Mike were standing around on the porch talking.
Wintersmith hadn't made an offer to pay yet so Mike mentioned he had to leave, in hopes of speeding up the payment process.
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace NHS: Administrative History (Chapter 2) (2013 words)
There was little local interest in the site--the people of the area were amused by the occasional pilgrim or journalist who came through to cut a souvenir cane from one of the trees on the farm.
Wintersmith, the elector for the Fifth Congressional District of Kentucky, had sent a friend in Cincinnati such a set of canes in October 1860.
It is also difficult to believe that neither Rowbotham nor Wintersmith, both early pilgrims to the birthplace site, would not have been told had the original birthplace cabin remained in altered form, on another site.
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